Newby enters his third race for council

community leader counts on changing political winds

Shawn Newby hopes his third run for council is the charm, as part of a generational change on council.

“I want to be part of that team that gets Saanich up to speed towards being a more healthy and productive municipality,” he said.

Newby enters the 2018 race as a familiar face in local politics. He had first run for council in the 2014 general municipal election before running again in the 2017 byelection. Newby’s name has also appeared in other municipal contexts. He currently chair the Saanich Community Association Network (SCAN), the organization that represents Saanich’s 17 community associations — independent groups that serve as a hinge between residents-at-large, private interests, and the municipality, including its elected officials.

RELATED: Saanich community association to revise bylaws

As such, Newby is familiar with municipal institutions, but also has his ears on the ground when it comes to practical community affairs. He also has ties to the local business and farming community through his role as a co-founder and manager of the Saanich Sunday Farmers’ Market. He also volunteered for a number of local organizations and events, including Saanich’s Music in the Park series, in keeping with his background as a musician.

RELATED: Sunday Farmers’ Market comes to Saanich

Newby enters the race during a transitional period in Saanich municipal politics. Three long-established councillors — Couns. Dean Murdock, Vicki Sanders and Leif Wergeland — are not running for re-election. A fourth councillor — Coun. Fred Haynes — is running for mayor against incumbent Mayor Richard Atwell, as well Rob Wickson and Dave Shebib.

In short, Newby enters a race with potentially favourable winds. The high number of councillors not running suggests a mood for change, and candidates with an established record of service might find themselves as benefactors, as they compete in a crowded field.

RELATED: Saanich mayoral candidates clash over leadership

With four open seats on council, this is a really good opportunity to bring about some changes on council, he said.

“I don’t want to say that they [the old council] failed anywhere, but I do think they could have been more progressive.”

While Newby’s critique covers a number of subjects, he is especially critical of Saanich’s bureaucratic pace, one of the obstacles to creating more affordable housing.

If Saanich wants to deal with the issue of affordable housing, the municipality needs all forms of housing. “We need to increase rental stock and increase density, so people can afford to buy in Saanich,” he said.

Yet developers, he said, would like to see Saanich become more efficient, in voicing a long heard complaint that also reflects personal familiarity, as Newby worked as a contractor for seven years, before his current position as an account manager for a local company selling and installing counter-tops. (To underscore this point, his work truck bears his likeness).

Looking at other issues, Newby praises Saanich’s environmental policies, notwithstanding the public controversies around the Environmental Development Permit Area bylaw, which Saanich currently seeks to replace with no definitive time line in place.

This said, Newby is not interested in re-litigating old conflicts.

“There is no point in looking back,” he said. “My campaign is about looking forward. I want to start working on what we can do.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sidney sets up temporary rest stop for truck drivers transporting critical supplies

Drivers can rest, find washrooms, access nearby restaurants

Victoria Police see new trends in calls due to COVID-19

Police link jump in domestic, mental health calls to pandemic

VIDEO: Musician stays physically distant in courtyard show for Langford retirees

Bob Nelson found a way to continue to play for retirement community residents

COVID-19: Health care workers seek alternative housing options to prevent families from getting sick

Volunteers, residents and businesses step up to provide frontline workers with alternative housing

BC Parks Foundation organizes virtual picnic for the province

Join a B.C.-wide picnic online Saturday, March 28

Trudeau announces 75% wage subsidy for small businesses amid COVID-19

This is up from the previously announced 10 per cent wage subsidy

COVID-19: A message from the publisher

We will be making some changes to our print editions during these unprecedented times

World update, 9:30 p.m. March 27: Positive news in Korea as U.S. hits 100,000 cases

The United States now has the most coronavirus cases of any country in the world

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

COVID-19: Qualicum Beach youngster gets car parade for his sixth birthday

Friends get creative after party cancelled due to ongoing pandemic

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

Nanaimo RCMP ask for help locating 17-year-old girl believed to be with 36-year-old man

Mary Cyprich, missing since Thurday, might be in company of Force Forsythe

67 more B.C. COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Vancouver region

Positive tests found in Surrey, Langley long-term care facilities

‘Now is not the time to bag that peak’: BCSAR manager discourages risky outdoor adventures

Call volumes are not going down, even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists

Most Read